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Insurance Investigations – When to use a field investigator

Updated: Nov 30, 2023



Save time and secure key evidence by going to the source.

Information is king for insurance staff and attorneys who are working to resolve claims, especially those headed for litigation. There are many different pieces of information that need to be gathered which can only be found by going to the source. Utilizing a field investigator to gather this information for you can not only save you time but it could reveal that piece of evidence that solidifies the direction you are headed with the claim. Consider the following pieces of evidence that field investigators can gather for you:

  • Identify police departments and other agencies who responded to an accident. Collect accident reports and interview response personnel.

  • Photograph, videotape and diagram accident scenes. Measure distances, identify and document relevant street signs, time traffic light patterns, identify and document accident scene evidence such as tire and gouge marks, debris and road disrepair.

  • Locate and photograph damaged vehicles and other insured property. Conduct DMV searches for information on driver history, vehicles and ownership.

  • Photograph and video workplace accident scenes including machinery involved in the claim. Secure demonstration video of machinery as it is operated.  Locate and secure machinery and plant maintenance records.

  • Interview witnesses, passengers and other drivers. Take recorded statements from them and have them transcribed.

  • Canvass neighborhoods to identify witnesses who may have something to say about the claim.

  • Locate missing insureds or witnesses, obtain signed affidavits from them and serve subpoenas. Conduct courthouse research for criminal or civil records including property records and corporation filings.

  • Conduct social media research on involved parties. Place claimant’s under surveillance to determine their functionality and activities of daily living.

When using a field investigator, demand quality.

An accurate, useable report Regardless of the information your field investigator gathers, the results must be factually accurate, expertly documented and presented in a useable format.  Also, your field investigator should be able to produce computer generated diagrams that, along with photographs, are integral to the written report. Expert statement-taking If you utilize field investigators to take statements from witnesses and insured’s be sure that they work from a script so that your basic questions are answered predictably in a logical format.  This ensures the work product is consistent and comprehensive.  A good statement taker will fill in the missing pieces after the basics are covered.  If statements are recorded, the field investigator should adhere to the jurisdictional laws pertaining to recording.  Your field investigator should also be able to transcribe and proof the written statement to ensure accuracy before submission. Professional surveillance Surveillance investigators must use high definition cameras and have in their possession covert equipment in case they need to follow on foot.  Their reports should also have photographs that are integral to the documentation.  Your surveillance investigator should be diligent in updating you with news from the field and ensure the budget guidelines are strictly followed. In your in-box, in the right format, on time A good field investigator will be able to transmit all documents and video electronically to your in-box so that there is no delay in getting results. The field investigator should not be overlooked as a valuable resource who can support your claim adjudication process.   Many are former insurance investigators who possess extensive claims experience.  Their years of being on the inside benefit your efforts to resolve your information needs. Are you ready to utilize a respected field investigation firm with a long history of satisfied insurance and legal clients? 

Give Tiffany Wilfong a call at 724.888.2405 or email her at twilfong@csiinvestigators.com to discuss your next claim and she will personally ensure you are satisfied.

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